Friday, April 10, 2015

What-Cha, Darjeeling 1st Flush 2014 Kanchan View White Tea

What-Cha Description:
A delightful First Flush White Tea from Darjeeling, Kanchan View White is a great tasting White Tea. It is on the fuller side when compared to typical White Teas yet still lighter than Green Teas. It has a wonderful citrus taste and makes a great 'everyday' White Tea.

Sample provided by What-Cha Tea Redefined

My Review:
This appears to be the last entry in my world wide white tea extravaganza, unless of course I missed one in my box of samples. That would be a shame now wouldn't it?

Last time we looked at an Assam. Today we move northward to the Darjeeling region for this Kanchan View Tea Estate white tea. Like the Assam, I do not recall ever having experienced a white Darjeeling, I love new adventures.

Opening the resealable 10 gram sample for my first whiff from the bag, I am met with a herbaceous full aroma. I am not sure how to describe this. It is less leaf like and more vine in scent. There is a fragrance that lightly reminds me of strawberry leaves. There is also a light citrus fragrance. What leaf aroma I catch seems more green than white. It is a lovely combination.

I pulled out about a third of the leaf for today's review. What-Cha calls for 1-2 tsps per cup, but I am using a mug, so I use more leaf. Anyway, the leaf, just look at it. Isn't it beautiful? I mean seriously, it looks like it was just plucked from the bush and placed on the dish. I don't know how well you can pick up on it from the picture but there are many examples of the classic perfectly shaped leaf and a bud here.

I am once again using my clear glass teapot as my brewing vessel. I think I have done this for all the latest white teas. I may have used the press once or twice but it handles nearly identically.

The water was heated to 194 F (90 C) and I steeped for 3 1/2 minutes. These are per Wha-Cha's label directions. I appreciate that I do not have to have a web page open to find out recommended brewing parameters.

The liquor is a very yellow/golden color. It is light, clear, and bright. The wet leaf is fuller, more plump, and even more alive looking than before.

I did sniff the leaf and the pot, unfortunately a storm last night knocked out my internet modem and after I got everything rebooted, I kind of forgot what I was catching. I do know it was not a classic white tea aroma and not quite green either.

So, I finally get to taste... Wow, I'm not sure what I think. While this is hot, it has a kind of dusty feel and taste. It is not really bitter or rough edged. It is making my lips feel slightly numb. This is so very different than what I expected, I am having to take some time to process.

Once the cup cools it picks up a woodsy flavor under a vine taste. There is also a touch of muscat grape type flavor. The aftertaste is strong, lingering, slightly sweet, and plant like. What I am calling plant and vine here reminds me of the green plant of a geranium. I normally reserve this description for oolongs. There is no resemblance between this Darjeeling white and an oolong except in my brains attempt to describe the experience.

Cup two is also at 194 F and about a 3 minute steep. The color stays consistent with the first. I did pay attention to the wet leaf this time. Looks like the reason I couldn't remember the first cup scent is nothing really jumps out.

The taste while hot is not dusty like the first. This has a duel personality going on. It is darker more woodsy and almost mushroom. At the same time it has a brighter more green sheng, almost bitter but not, flavor. There is a stone fruit kind of thing like almost apricot present. As it cools I am noticing more of a floral note that reminds me of peonies. The aftertaste is again strong and green vines with a citrus touch. It leaves me with a touch of cheek tingle.

I love the leaf on this tea. I love the bold color of the brew. The taste is good. It certainly is not subtle and it is nicely complex. I try not to let my personal tastes affect my reviews. I try to judge each tea on what it is and does that match the companies description. This does accomplish that end. All that said, while there is nothing inherently wrong with this tea, I find this one just doesn't speak to my tastes personally. I could not find another review online to see if I am missing something. Out of the 37 teas I have reviewed from What-Cha, this is only the second that I have been less than enthusiastic about. As much as I hate the idea, I guess I really can't love them all,

You can find What-Cha, Darjeeling 1st Flush 2014 Kanchan View White Tea here.

No comments:

Post a Comment